Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Terror on a Tricycle

Two friends made me cry yesterday. One told me that her sons had raised money turning in recyclables and wanted to donate it to Hollow Creek Farm. It doubled the intake of Walter the wobbly dog's theater fundraiser. And then another sent an astronomical sum, an unbelievable amount that will truly make a difference in the lives of the Hollow Creek animals. Those two acts of sacrificial giving made me smile all day, after I finished crying.

Then it was on to the real world. I leave tomorrow for "Law School Day for Family and Friends" at Washington and Lee. So I had to pack and fine tune our school week checklist, gather the materials I'd need to study up on helicopters so I'd be ready to impart knowledge to my Science Olympiad team that I currently do not have, prep for my art class.... etc.

I realized I didn't have directions yet, so returned to the Law School Day website and realized with aghast that there was homework.  Click here for homework, it said! Homework for the family and friends of the law students! Homework we would be expected to do before arriving! Subtly wedged in between the sentences about breaks and receptions!  I had thought this would be a nice little tour of the law school with a chance to see the cute little cubby office that Matt and every law student is assigned, a free lunch with the dean, and a nice dinner out with my son. But no. Work would be involved.

I opened the document.  It was two actual cases. There was no clue about what we were to do with the cases, other than read them. This was ominously open ended, and all my performance anxiety began  to kick in. I noticed Matt was on- line and wrote him, "Are you allowed to help me with my law day homework?"
"Law day homework?"
"Yes, some case involving a 3 year old and tricycles."
"OH, the Macafoo case? My prof loves Macafoo."

The case involves a lawsuit brought against a 3 year old for riding his tricycle on the sidewalk, bumping into someone's achilles tendon, and smashing it such that it required surgery. The obviously related case involved a 5 year old sued for pulling a chair out from under his aunt, such that she fell, broke her hip and required surgery.

These are real cases.

"I don't really want your help.... I want to do it myself..."
"OK, just read the case and ask yourself what if some aspect were different."

Ok, my first "what if " is what if people were sane in this particular case?
My second "what if" is what if aunts behaved like aunts and loved their relatives?
My third "what if" is what if kids were not supposed to act like kids?

I am not sure if this is what the prof is going for. The cases presumably help refine the understanding of the law of assault and battery, but  PUH-LEASE!!!!!!! Someone sued a 3 and 5 year old?! What I think is edifying about this case is the sharp contrast between the loving aunt suing her nephew and the friends I wrote about in the first paragraph giving so much money to a wobbly dog and his rehabilitators. 

Our Bible study yesterday centered on the one line about Jesus, hanging on the cross, and the moment He died. It said Jesus "gave up His spirit"(Matthew 27:50)
"Why didn't it just say He died?" I asked Asherel., "We know every word of the Bible is inspired, chosen with care. What is the implication in the verb 'gave' as opposed to 'died'?"

This one threw her for a loop so we went through the various meanings of give. Give of course implies a willingness, a sacrifice, a conscious decision and act. Jesus could have hopped off the cross, ripped the nails out of his hands, healed His wounds and gone out for a well deserved cup of coffee and croissants. He is God... He could have done anything He wanted.  But He didn't. He gave up His spirit, willingly and consciously. He knew the penalty for sin was death, and He was willing to die so that the penalty for our sin could be paid and we would be the beneficiaries.  This is the kind of law I understand. The Jewish people long understood the need for dire consequence or penalty for sin. They knew a holy righteous God could not have communion with sin. They also understood that substitutionary sacrifice could redeem. Each year, a goat was released into the wilderness, with the people's sins placed upon him symbolically, which he carried away. He was the original "scape-goat."  Yet the Jewish people knew all the sacrificial system of the Old Testament was only a precurser and inadequate. The only sacrifice that could save was one that was consciously and willingly entered into, and one that paid the greatest price. It is not sacrifice if it does not cost one dearly. One day the true "scape-goat" , the true savior, the Messiah would come and  He would be wounded for the transgressors and "by his wounds, we are healed."

Meanwhile, I am pondering the implications of suing a relative, a 5 year old nephew,  and a marauding 3 year old tricycle terrorist, and keeping my blood from boiling by remembering my friends Andi and Carol who gave to a farm they have never even seen.

Isaiah 53:5
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

John 3:16   For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


  1. I personally am considering suing my kids for damages done to my body pre-birth. I think it will frame the whole "when does life start" arguement nicely.